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Coronavirus in Poland. Adam Niedzielski on possible more severe restrictions in December

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If we do not have a clear decrease in coronavirus infections by mid-December, it will certainly force us to take measures that may turn out to be more painful – said Minister of Health Adam Niedzielski on Monday. He noted that “it’s a black script”.

Niedzielski was asked on Monday on Radio ZET about the possible introduction of new restrictions in connection with the development of the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that if by mid-December “we do not have a clear drop in infections, it will definitely force us to take action that may turn out to be more painful.”

He added that “if we see that the efficiency limit (of the health care system – ed.) Is violated, then we will have to return to the discussion about the restrictions, just more painful restrictions”.

– This option is unlikely, but it must be taken into account when making management decisions by us. There must always be a black scenario for which we are prepared, said Niedzielski. – This development of the situation, which we are talking about now, is this black scenario – he pointed out.

He added that “ultimately decisions are made by the prime minister, by him, by a group of people who are politically responsible for it”.

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Niedzielski: it is possible that from January there will be an anti-COVID-19 drug for home use

Niedzielski was also asked about drugs for COVID-19. That market is growing a lot, he said. He added that “there are promising drugs that can be used at any therapeutic stage”. – We currently have remdesivir in hospitals, but there are also suggestions that are no less effective, and maybe even more effective – said the Minister of Health. He recalled that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recently issued two decisions.

The European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicines for Human (CHMP) issued a positive assessment of two anti-COVID-19 medicines, Ronapreve and Regkirona, on 11 November. The Agency recommended marketing authorization for both preparations in Europe. Both drugs contain monoclonal antibodies. Clinical trials show that their use in the early stage of SARS-CoV-2 infection significantly reduces the risk of hospitalization and the severe course of the disease.

Niedzielski said that there is also an outpatient drug that is currently on the path to approval in the United States

He added that “we have an early-use drug that can be taken at home.” – If it goes well, from January it will also be potentially available in Poland, if, of course, the EMA approves it and deliveries are made – announced Niedzielski.

He explained that it is an “early-stage drug” or “at risk, and that reduces the possibility of the virus multiplying in the body, provided it is used at a very early stage.” He noted that he would have to be prescribed by a health care physician.

Niedzielski: the third dose for people 50 plus will be possible after five months

The minister was asked to allow the administration of the third dose of the vaccine earlier than six months after the primary vaccination. “We’ve made the decision to shorten the distance to the second dose for people over 50 by one month, or five months,” he said.

The decision is to be implemented later this week. Niedzielski explained that the change is also aimed at avoiding the accumulation of vaccinations in the pre-Christmas period.

Niedzielski on verification of employees’ vaccination

Niedzielski also referred to the issue of verifying the employee’s vaccination by the employer. He said that “this is not a law to force people to vaccinate, but to ensure workplace safety.”

– This bill does not only provide for the possibility to verify the vaccination, but also to verify whether the person has been, for example, tested. So we do not rely on the model that only vaccination gives the opportunity to create a safe work environment, but we also focus on tests – he explained.

When asked who finally prepared the solutions included in the bill, he said that the initiative itself shows the commitment of many people.

– We had work on the bill in the ministry, which we presented during a meeting with the Health Committee and PiS MPs. We discussed a lot on this subject, the deputies, looking at our project, also came to their conclusions and the final proposal, which was presented on the one hand, is close to our project, but also largely takes into account different points of view – said Niedzielski.

He admitted at the same time that “perhaps the project” has its controversial solutions from the point of view of various environments “, but – as he added – they are also proposed” in the spirit of securing the rights of those people who do not vaccinate “. vaccinations and possible opponents that this is a solution that does not violate the rights of either party to work normally, to continue their professional duties, said the minister.

He added that “vaccinated people will be able to prove themselves by taking the test regularly”. When asked who would pay for the tests, he replied that “different options are being considered”. – As a state, we have the view that it will be possible to perform such a test publicly financed by the National Health Fund. But where we will end, I would not like to prejudge, the discussion continues – emphasized Niedzielski.

Law and Justice deputies Czesław Hoc and Paweł Rychlik announced last Wednesday that a parliamentary bill will be sent to the Sejm, allowing employers to verify whether an employee is vaccinated against COVID-19. According to the draft regulations, if an employee is not vaccinated, the entrepreneur will be able to reorganize the work, e.g. transfer such an employee to a department where he will not be in contact with customers.

Marshal of the Sejm Elżbieta Witek She said on Monday that the criticism against the bill endorsed by PiS MPs has intensified. – This project, of course, was not received by the marshal’s cane, it was announced, but was immediately heavily criticized – she said. She announced that she had invited club and club bosses to talk about going beyond divisions on Wednesday with a project to verify employee vaccination. According to her, if the clubs and parliamentary circles at the Wednesday meeting agree and will cooperate, there should be an inter-club team that will work out the assumptions of the act.

Main photo source: Leszek Szymański / PAP

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